It’s always exciting to share new research. In our recent paper in IEEE Access, we studied the optical sensor used in most smartwatches and fitness trackers. Here are the key findings:

  • Placing the optical sensor on the underside of the wrist is better than the top side.
  • Having multiple sensors adds redundancy to the measurement, and improves heart rate detection.
  • Efficient sensor geometries can be fabricated with printed electronics that demonstrated a clear improvement over the conventional rectangular sensor design.

Great start to the weekend! Happy weekend, everyone! 🙂🎉

Paper title: Organic Multi-Channel Optoelectronic Sensors for Wearable Health Monitoring

Abstract: Recent progress in printed optoelectronics and their integration in wearable sensors have created new avenues for research in reflectance photoplethysmography (PPG) and oximetry. The reflection-mode sensor, which consists of light emitters and detectors, is a vital component of reflectance oximeters. Here, we report a systematic study of the reflectance oximeter sensor design in terms of component geometry, light emitter and detector spacing, and the use of an optical barrier between the emitter and the detector to maximize sensor performance. Printed red and near-infrared (NIR) organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and organic photodiodes (OPDs) are used to design three sensor geometries: (1) Rectangular geometry, where square OLEDs are placed at each side of the OPD; (2) Bracket geometry, where the OLEDs are shaped as brackets and placed around the square OPD; (3) Circular geometry, where the OLEDs are shaped as block arcs and placed around the circular OPD. Utilizing the bracket geometry, we observe 39.7% and 18.2% improvement in PPG signal magnitude in the red and NIR channels compared to the rectangular geometry, respectively. Using the circular geometry, we observe 48.6% and 9.2% improvements in the red and NIR channels compared to the rectangular geometry. Furthermore, a wearable two-channel PPG sensor is utilized to add redundancy to the measurement. Finally, inverse-variance weighting and template matching algorithms are implemented to improve the detection of heart rate from the multi-channel PPG signals

Publication:

  1. Organic Multi-Channel Optoelectronic Sensors for Wearable Health Monitoring Yasser Khan, Donggeon Han, Jonathan Ting, Maruf Ahmed, Ramune Nagisetty, and Ana C. Arias. IEEE Access, 2019 , . [Abstract] [Bibtex] [PDF]